Brilliant piece.....sums it up nicely.

Dodger

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Just read this take on the Yanks and Bubba in particular.

A1 journalism.....

BUBBA WATSON, AN AMERICAN WHO DOESN'T TRAVEL WELL

FROM THE DAILY TELEGRAPH WEBSITE
By OLIVER BROWN
Americans are, in the words of wisecracking Australian golfer Stuart Appleby, “like a bag of prawns on a hot day — they don’t travel well”.
To take this observation to its logical extreme, Bubba Watson (pictured right) is a prawn that has been peeled, dried and then left to curl up at the edges under a steaming Parisian sun.
The remarks last weekend by this mulleted resident of Bagdad, Florida, about his foray to la cite d’amour were so staggeringly reductive, of such oceangoing crassness, that they warrant a brief re-airing.
The Arc de Triomphe? “The arch I drove around in a circle.” The Palace of Versailles? “The castle that we’re staying next to.”
And what, pray, did he make of the Louvre? Surely our diligent exchange student found delights to detain him there? “A building beginning with ‘L’.”
Watson behaved at the French Open in the fashion of every oafish American tourist you dread to encounter in the patisseries of Old Europe.
He is the buffoon who orders a cappuccino, and then bleats about how it compares to the supersized version at his branch of Dunkin’ Donuts. (Believe me, such behaviour is not merely confined to the continent. At Heathrow recently I watched as a brassy New York woman returned a perfectly serviceable-looking latte to the Starbucks counter. “My son says this is terrible!”) Generalisations on cultural outlook can be invidious. But nowhere is the insularity of the American view better crystallised than in that cosseted commune of the US PGA Tour.
Dear Bubba is simply the front man for a legion of good ol’ boys who rarely travel, rarely experiment, and who as such exhibit all the aesthetic appreciation of Ronald McDonald.
Some positively revel in their redneck roots. Take Boo Weekley, who built a cult of personality from his stories of wrestling alligators out on grandaddy’s back porch.
At the 2008 Ryder Cup, in a corner of Kentucky that seethed with parochialism, he whipped up the crowd by pretending to ride his driver cowboy-style down the first fairway.
Weekley almost made the Scots spit out their shortbread when, ahead of the 2007 Open, he pronounced upon Carnoustie cuisine: “Has been rough on that food. Ain’t got no sweet tea, and ain’t got no sweet chicken.”
The scholar that is Boo hails from a section of the southern states that Jeremy Clarkson once sought — successfully — to provoke by driving a car sprayed pink and emblazoned with such slogans as ‘Man-love rules’ and ‘Nascar sucks’.
It can be no coincidence that the Floridian once played on the same high-school golf team as Watson. Boo and Bubba: what a brain trust that is.
But we should be careful to be too dismissive, for the two represent the American game’s most powerful constituency: namely, reactionaries of scant sense but no little wealth, and of an overwhelmingly gun-toting Republican bent.
Savour this, if you will, from Fred Funk on former President George W Bush: “Huge Bush fan, hate the Democrats.” Or how about the political wisdom of Kenny Perry?
“I love Bush. I just think he speaks about God and is a Christian man, and that’s what I’m about.”
Padraig Harrington once confessed to me his disgruntlement at the narrow terms of debate on the tour circuit, and how a Democrat was about as rare as a hen’s wisdom tooth.
With the Open approaching, it is again open season on those mollycoddled Yanks who cannot cope with the links test when removed from their beloved Bermuda grass.
Golfers of Bubba Watson’s ilk can make $3million or more each season by performing on auto-pilot at dismally-attended tournaments in Texas or Illinois.
It is a reality to leave men like Jack Nicklaus thoroughly nonplussed.
“The fact is that if you want to be an international star then you have to go and play internationally,” he said. “If you don’t, you only have yourself to blame.”
Scott Hoch, perhaps the foremost spokesman of the Bubba generation and a man with cigars the size of vanity, paid no heed to that logic. The 55 year-old once memorably described St Andrews as the “biggest piece of mess” he had ever seen.
Hoch opts not even to attempt to qualify for The Open these days. But if we ever doubted for his fondness for august events, we should be consoled that next year, he hopes to play in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open instead.
EDITOR'S FOOTNOTE:
It's a fact that many Americans live and die without ever leaving the state they were born in. The vast majority do not have a passport and never leave America's shores.
Criticism by the few who do is by no means new. Many moons ago the late great Sam Snead compared playing golf in Britain - he was talking after winning the 1946 Open at St Andrews - was akin to "going camping" ... roughing it with no luxuries.
Mind you, we were just emerging from World War II. I don't recall the United States suffering many bombing raids between 1939 and 1945. Pearl Harbour, yes; Hot Springs, Virginia (Snead lived and died there), No.
Who was it that said: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
 

Ethan

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Watson is a redneck from the deep south. These people are not known for their sophistication, literacy or appreciation of any food beyond grits or fried chicken. I suppose we shouldn't really be surprised. But he deserves the journalist kicking he got because he came over to scoop up easy money and ranking points having been told by his peers that it was a piece of piss to win in Europe. Oops.

The article throws in God and politics to form a toxic combination. It is certainly true that the majority of PGA Tours are God-botherers, and that almost all of them make Norman Tebbit look like a wimpy liberal. I remember reading once that only one pro (Brad Faxon) admitted to supporting the Democrats, but I am not sure politics or religion is relevant to the Watson issue. His problem is simply that he lacks basic manners, courtesy and common sense, and is drunk on his 15 minutes of fame in the spotlight.

The US is a big place and very different from one area to another. The difference between Massachusetts and Alabama is enormous, and many people in the US, mostly on the coasts or in Chicago, are pretty sophisticated and sensible people.
 

NWJocko

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Good read if a little generalist.

Been to America a few times and the majoriy of people I've met have been fine. I haven't been to redneck country though!

I read in a mag (maybe GM, maybe not) a piece on Brad Faxon and he loved playing links golf and couldn't understand the attitude of the rest of the Americans in terms of getting out of their comfort zone and embracing the fact that things were different. Very refreshing attitude he had but sadly all too rare.

I don't really care if they come and call it the "British Open" but the small minded views of Bubba of Paris (golf and non golf related) make him look a prize chopper.

Some valid points made re the PGA Tour though. Watch some of it on Sky but the courses, to a large extent, merge into one and there is rarely a variety on show.
 

USER1999

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I like it that the Americans all seem to think that the European tour is weak, and that it is a feeder tour to the PGA one. Strangely, they don't seem to do that well over here, in a 'weaker' field.

Witness Brandt Snedecker today. Plus 7 after 12. Oops. For a high ranked player, that is pretty poor.
 

iku

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Good piece.

As a general note, whoever orders a cappuccino after 11:35am and particularly after a meal is an uncivilized barbarian.
 

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Funny article but a bit of a generalisation.

Let's not forget another Watson, Tom, one of golf's true gentlemen and respected all around the world.
He didn't take to links golf when he first came over but stuck with it and became one of the great links players.

We could just do with a few of the younger Americans to show the same interest and courtesy.
 

HomerJSimpson

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Didn't seem to stop a whole array of Yanks coming over and nicking the Claret Jug on a regular basis including god loving Ben Curtis. A decent piece if a little OTT in the argument. The bottom line was Bubbs opened gob without engaging brain and has lost a lot of support he built up during the RC. Chances are we won't see him again until the next RC here (if he qualifies) so I doubt he's hurting too much back in the good old US of A
 

palindromicbob

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Not surprised a lot of Americans don't enjoy links golf. I'm yet to play a links course where the green keepers have attempted a second cut. It's either fairway, a couple of feet width of nasty rough, or 3 foot deep grass where you are more likely to find 10 other balls and leave your own behind!
 

PuttForDough

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That article is is fairly racist - although not surprising from The Telegraph
I'm starting to get fed up of this Yank bashing to be honest and the blowing of our own trumpet - oh we're so sophisticated and they're all red necks blah de blah. A little humility wouldn't go astray.
 

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I'm not upset with him, I am positively laughing at him because as with a lot of Yanks he doesn't seem to be able to adjust to life outside the good ol' US of A.
 

Lawrence22

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It is worth reading Bubbas twitter feed after this. He has apologised repeatedly on this, often to people whom have been very rude towards him. He has clarified that he played bad and that it was his fault not the crowds.
One tweet reads "Christians are sinners too." Now I'm not religious but I realise that this is someone taking responsibility for his actions. He has also confimed he will be returning to play in Europe and not only the open. I believe he is playing Sweeden the week after. He also claims he did not get payed to play in Paris.
My opinion is let's give him a chance to redeem himself, we all have bad days. If he behaves like a buffoon again then he will deserve all the criticism he gets
 

Atticus_Finch

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It is worth reading Bubbas twitter feed after this. He has apologised repeatedly on this, often to people whom have been very rude towards him. He has clarified that he played bad and that it was his fault not the crowds.
One tweet reads "Christians are sinners too." Now I'm not religious but I realise that this is someone taking responsibility for his actions. He has also confimed he will be returning to play in Europe and not only the open. I believe he is playing Sweeden the week after. He also claims he did not get payed to play in Paris.
My opinion is let's give him a chance to redeem himself, we all have bad days. If he behaves like a buffoon again then he will deserve all the criticism he gets

......is the correct answer.
 

Lawrence22

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I like it that the Americans all seem to think that the European tour is weak, and that it is a feeder tour to the PGA one. Strangely, they don't seem to do that well over here, in a 'weaker' field.

Witness Brandt Snedecker today. Plus 7 after 12. Oops. For a high ranked player, that is pretty poor.

Snedecker playing much better today. Looks like he will make the cut, he is -7 through 14 so far.
 

muttleee

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I wonder if how many Europeans would play regularly in the States if the prize money on the European Tour was more than that on the PGA Tour?
 
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